Hokies air it out in win over UCF
By Jimmy Robertson
August 31, 2003

Post Game Notes UCF Golden Knights
at #9 Virginia Tech Hokies
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2003
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
  • Offensive lineman Will Montgomery, free safety Jimmy Williams and defensive end Darryl Tapp made their first career starts Sunday.

  • Richard Johnson's 21-yard touchdown reception was the first TD reception of his collegiate career.

  • Carter Warley moved into second place all-time at Virginia Tech for career PATs made with his second kick today. He passed Ryan Williams (1991-94), who had 137 career PATs.

  • Justin Hamilton's 7-yard touchdown reception marked his first collegiate score.

  • The attendance of 65,115 is the largest in the history of Lane Stadium and is the largest crowd to witness a college football game in the history of the Commonwealth. The previous high was 65,097 against Virginia last season.

  • Marcus Vick's first collegiate drive resulted in an 80-yard touchdown score. Michael Vick's first collegiate series, against James Madison in 1999, resulted in a three-and-out with a punt.

  • With his nine receptions, senior Ernest Wilford moved into 10th place all-time at Tech on the receptions list with 80. He moved past Jimmy Quinn (72; 1969-71), Bryan Still (74; 1992-95), Marcus Mickel (77; 1988-91) and Cornelius White (78; 1993-96). His 96 yards give him 1,260 career yards, moving him past Carroll Dale (1,195; 1956-59) and Donnie Reel (1,260; 1970-72) and into a tie for ninth place all-time with Jimmy Quinn (1969-71) on the reception yardage list.

  • Wilford's nine catches establish a new career high. He had eight receptions at Syracuse last year.

  • Jason Lallis' 45-yard interception for a TD marked his first-career pick, but is his second-career touchdown. Lallis had a 59-yard fumble recovery for a score last season against Arkansas State.

  • David Clowney's 10-yard catch in the fourth quarter marked the true freshman's first collegiate reception. He later went on to haul in his first collegiate touchdown pass, a 27-yarder from Marcus Vick.

  • The 36 first down set a new school record for first downs in a game. The previous record was 34 against Akron in 1991.
     
  •   Quotes  
    Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer
    Opening Statement:
    "Overall I'm proud of the way our football team played. I think we did some really good things overall. We were guilty of getting lulled when the game was 28-7, we thought it was kind of done at that point and it certainly wasn't. I give them [UCF] credit, they ran some nice plays to get back in it. I think we'll learn from the video because I think there were some missed tackles that created some touchdowns from them. The most progress you can make is from the first ballgame to the second and there's some things we can learn from in this ballgame."

    On UCF:
    "Central Florida is a very talented team. [QB] Schneider is very talented and he's very poised. He knows where he's going with the football and he's a tough guy to deal with. Give them credit I think they're a very talented team and I'm proud to come out of here with a win."

    On Tech's play late in the game:
    "I like the way that even when it was tight and everything was going the other way, our guys hung in there and came back and took the game over. It's good to win that way. You learn a lot about yourself when things tighten up."

    On the quarterback's play:
    "Bryan [Randall] and Marcus [Vick] both did a nice job of throwing the football where it could be caught. That's refreshing thing to see from our football team. We strive for balance and with this offensive football team I think we really do have a chance of being balanced, that bodes well. I truly believe that if you're a balanced offense you have the chance to go a long way. You can't let the defense dictate how you set up."

    "We're fortunate to have two quarterbacks this good. Those are two kids that are getting better all the time. I think we just keep playing and evaluating and see where it goes."

    On Tech's first quarter:
    "We were executing great, we had some good third down plays, we were really sharp. It was very pleasing to see our football team come out so sharp. In the end it was a good game for us, when the heat was on our kids responded."

    On the offensive line and running game:
    "I thought the offensive line played pretty good. The pressure didn't get to us too much today. The running game probably needs to be a little sharper. We've got to run north and south a little sharper."
     
    Virginia Tech opened the 2003 season with a bang, scoring on its first four possessions and manhandling the University of Central Florida 49-28 in front of 65,115 fans at Lane Stadium - the largest crowd in Tech history and the largest ever to see a football game in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    The win marked Tech's eighth consecutive season-opening win and the Hokies won for the 12th time in their past 13 openers.

    The Hokies jumped out to a 28-0 lead, using the arm of quarterback Bryan Randall to move up and down the field at will. Randall threw two touchdown passes and Kevin Jones scored twice as the Hokies opened a 28-point bulge before UCF even recorded a first down.

    Tech then survived three unanswered touchdowns by UCF before putting the game away with two touchdowns late in the game.

    Clinging to a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter, Randall marched the Hokies 67 yards and gave the Hokies some breathing room when he hit DeAngelo Hall for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

    Then on UCF's next possession, Tech defensive tackle Jason Lallis dropped back into coverage and picked off a Ryan Schneider pass. He returned it 45 yards for a touchdown - the second of Lallis' career (he returned a fumble 59 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas State last season) - that essentially put the game out of reach.

    "I liked the way we hung in there when things got tight and then we came back and turned the game around," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I think it's good to win that way. You find out some things about yourself when things are tightening up and then you have to rally back."

    Randall led Tech's offensive attack, completing 22 of 28 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. He and redshirt freshman Marcus Vick - playing in his first collegiate game - combined to throw for 380 yards and completed passes to 11 different receivers. Ernest Wilford led the Hokies with nine receptions for 96 yards.

    "It was a little surprising that we threw as much," Randall said. "But when everything is clicking, why stop?"

    Jones, who led Tech with 83 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns, got the Hokies on the board first, scoring on a 1-yard run on third-and-goal from the UCF 1 on Tech's first drive. Randall then threw touchdown passes of 21 yards to Richard Johnson and 7 yards to Justin Hamilton on the Hokies' next two possessions as Tech took a 21-0 lead. Johnson and Hamilton each recorded the first touchdowns of their careers.

    Tech's final score in the early onslaught came midway through the second quarter when Jones took a handoff, broke a tackle and outran a UCF defensive back to the end zone for an 18-yard score.

    UCF failed to notch a first down until midway through the second quarter, but the Knights scored on their final two possessions of the half to make things interesting. An 11-yard touchdown pass from Schneider to Tavaris Capers cut the Tech lead to 28-7 and a 16-yard run by Alex Haynes with 1:25 left in the first half got the Knights within 14 at halftime.

    In the fourth quarter, UCF cut the lead to seven when Schneider hit Capers for a 7-yard scoring strike with 14:50 left to play. That touchdown made it 28-21 in favor of Tech, but it was as close as UCF got.

    Schneider, who has broken most of former UCF quarterback and current Minnesota Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper's records, completed 23-of-35 for 203 yards and three touchdowns, with the one interception.

    Tech next prepares for James Madison, which comes to Blacksburg on Saturday. The Dukes, coming off a huge win over Liberty University in their season opener, last played the Hokies in 1999, losing that one 47-0. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.